Tonasket School District

Transportation Report

Tonasket School District Transportation Operations

For the 2017/2018 school year, busing mileage including transporting students to and from school, all field trips and athletic trips totaled 208,027 miles. Our total daily mileage just for transporting students to and from school is just over 1,000 miles. Annually we use around 21,000 gallons of diesel fuel and around 13,000 gallons of propane auto fuel.


We currently have twenty-four buses and of those twenty-four, sixteen are used daily for transporting students to and from school. Five out of the twenty-four buses are propane fueled. These are very clean running buses but unfortunately, the only place we can refuel them is at the Tonasket bus garage where we have a propane fuel tank and pump. They are not used for long trips due to the lack of propane fueling facilities.


As buses get older we retire them to the spare fleet. We keep several spare buses to use when a bus is down for mechanical repairs or when other buses are gone for sports and field trips. When a bus is retired from the school district, it is first offered up to other school districts in the state and then out to the public for purchase. Lately, other school districts have been purchasing our old buses.


We have a very well-maintained fleet of buses. We keep it this way by adhering to a vigorous maintenance program that has been developed over the years. We keep our buses for 13 to 15 years, and the goal is to keep a fleet of around 24 buses.


The bus replacement program is funded through a depreciation schedule from the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). This revenue source is completely separate from the school’s education and maintenance budget and can only be used to purchase yellow school buses. Annually, we receive enough funds to purchase one or two buses. Each bus costs around $110,000. To maintain our depreciation schedule, we need to purchase buses when the funds are available.


The annual transportation budget allocation for maintenance and operations is also funded completely separate from the school’s education and maintenance budget and can only be used for yellow school bus-related costs; i.e... wages and maintenance. The allocation we receive from OSPI annually is calculated by using a count of students riding each bus to and from school, along with prior year expenditures, number of destinations, and some state and federal inputs. We are required to submit transportation reports to OSPI in October, January, and April annually. The reports include student counts, bus stops, and destinations. For the October report, we submit the prior year’s miles traveled and fuel used.


Most school districts in Washington State operate in a similar fashion.


Jack Denison

Tonasket School District

Transportation Supervisor